At an earlier point in his career, Lanny Davis actually did something meaningful with his life by defending Bill Clinton from impeachment. But he scraped the bottom of the barrel during the Gaza war by signing up as a “senior advisor” and “spokesperson” for the Israel Project, one of the rightist pro-Israel groups that never met an Israeli war it didn’t like.
There was one curious statement in the press release touting his joining the ranks of the hasbara brigade:
Mr. Davis, who will be available to appear on U.S. and international TV, radio, print and Internet outlets on short notice if necessary, will be speaking independently only for himself, as a private citizen, and, like The Israel Project, does not speak on behalf of the Israeli government nor is he (or they) under any instruction or influence by the Israeli government.
It seemed Davis was desperate to maintain the illusion of independence when in fact he, like the Israel Project, was essentially flogging for the war against Gaza. I read that phrase “nor is he (or they) under any instruction or influence by the Israeli government.” Why would they feel the need to say this? Methinks they do protest too much.
So just how independent is the Israel Project from the Israeli government? Well, from the looks of this web page, not very. Look down the list of other spokespeople signed up by the Israel Project for Gaza hasbara duty: IDF Col. Miri Eisin, IDF Maj. Avital Leibovitz, Mark Regev, UN ambassador Gabriela Shalev, etc. In fact, of the eleven spokespeople listed only three do NOT work for the Israeli government (and those three work for the Project). But two names stand out for a different reason: Jeremy Issacharoff is deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in Washington. He happens to be married to another person on the list. But surprisingly, she isn’t listed under her married name, but under her maiden name: Laura Kam.
Why would she try to hide this connection? Perhaps because she works for the Israel Project and is desperate to avoid any appearance of collusion between the embassy and the group. In other places online this information is revealed. So why wouldn’t it be on the Project’s own site?
So is there collusion? Funny you should ask. During the Gaza war, the Israel Project, dutiful shills that they are, translated and promoted a letter written by an Israeli soldier which explained to Gazans why he was forced to live and sleep in their home during the war. The letter is quite a deft, though transparent bit of sophistry which defends the war while purporting to be sensitive to the feelings of the Gazans.
But what’s especially interesting is that the Israeli embassy (yes, the one at which Jeremy Issacharoff works) also touted the very same letter in its own press release. A coincidence? If it is, I’ve got a bridge and some swamp land in Florida to sell you.
Can I prove that the Israel Project is bought and paid for by the Israeli government? Not yet. But there’s so little room between them that one may as well be an adjunct of the other. So I urge anyone reading this, especially those in the media or U.S. government to be wary of any message you hear from this organization. It is NOT independent of the Israeli government. It is an extension of it.
You should also keep in mind that the Project’s agenda is the same as the Israeli government. The former is among the Israel lobby groups ginning up a war against Iran (Americans Open To Force To Rein In Iran On Nukes is but one representative sample of the genre). So when you read anything from the Project advocating a military solution to the Iran issue, know that this propaganda comes to you courtesy of the hasbara machine of the Israeli government, despite any disclaimers to the contrary (“TIP is not related to any government or government agency”–yeah right).
This is especially important in light of the Jane Harman eavesdropping episode. When a U.S. representative or government official speaks to a representative of TIP, they should in future keep in mind that they are not speaking with an independent, dispassionate voice for truth as TIP would have them believe. Jane Harman proves that the Israeli spy apparatus in this country has its hooks into everything and anything that can provide an advantage in the battle to advance Israel’s message with the American people. Caveat emptor.
Alex Stein says
Does she normally go by her married name?
Richard Silverstein says
Most of the times she is listed online as “Laura Kam” are related directly or indirectly to her work for the Israel Project. I found her listed as “Laura Kam Issacharoff” several times, including the Jewish Chronicle site. The fact her bio at the TIP site doesn’t mention that she’s married to Issacharoff indicates dissembling to me.
This is one of the very many projects the Israelis are funding. Another one which is very recent and uptodate is UnitedAgainstNuclearIran http://www.unitedagainstnucleariran.com/ where they go so far as to bring Iran’s economy to its knees by trying to contact and dissuade every single business entity that deals with Iran.
These are the same people who go on to say how people are being anti-Semitic when they promote divestment from Israel.
gene schulman says
Richard, I don’t know how or where you dig up all this info, but I commend you for it. Without your diligence, there’s a lot of stuff out there we wouldn’t be aware of. Keep it up.
BTW, did you see the latest rant by David Harris (AJC) about Ahmadinejad’s Durban II speech? Pure hypocrisy.
Joachim Martillo says
I looked at the Form 990s at guidestar.
Here is one: http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2007/371/472/2007-371472882-03e0e060-9.pdf .
The Israel Project seems to be run by the same Newton Jew clique that pays for the David Project and similar sorts of activities.
Newton Jew is an “affectionate term” for local Boston area extremist Zionists even when they don’t live in Newton.
It is mostly used by Jews.
My blog entry discussing Newton Jews is Money Jews, Brain Jews, Politics.
*RE: “So when you read anything from the [Israel] Project advocating a military solution to the Iran issue, know that this propaganda comes to you courtesy of the hasbara machine of the Israeli government, despite any disclaimers to the contrary…”
*MY COMMENT: Unfortunately, both of my U.S. Senators are Republicans. One of them, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), has been on the ‘Board of Advisors’ for the right-wing ‘Israel Project’ since shortly after he was first elected to the Senate in 2002 (defeating the incumbent Democrat, Max Cleland).
*SEE “Focus Grouping War with Iran” by Laura Rozen, 11/19/07
*EXCERPT: …Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, the founder and president of the Israel Project, contacted Mother Jones and said that her group had commissioned the focus group and that it was designed by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm. The Israel Project is a nonprofit group that supports Israel and conducts extensive polling on American public attitudes toward Israel and the Middle East. Its board of advisers includes 15 Democratic and Republican members of the House and the Senate, plus actor Ron Silver.
Mizrahi says that her group and Freedom’s Watch share a common interest in “thwarting the threat of Islamic extremism” and in “dealing with the threat of Iran.” But Freedom’s Watch “in no way is directing our work, and it’s not funding our work.” She pointed out that the Israel Project is not “involved with Iraq,” a major concern of Freedom’s Watch. But the two outfits, she said, “shared information” produced by this focus group. …[snip]
…”Of all the focus groups I’ve ever been to,” Sonnenmark wrote in a subsequent email to a group of fellow volunteers for the 2006 Senate campaign of Jim Webb, “I’ve never seen a moderator who was so persistent in manipulating and leading the participants.” (Webb is lead author of a Senate letter warning President Bush not to attack Iran without congressional approval; see here and here.)) The gist of the event was “anti-Iranian,” says Sonnenmark…
….Sonnenmark left the session wondering if foreign policy hawks would soon be pushing publicly for military action against Iran using language that had been tested on her. But, she says, “It is not going to be so easy this time around.”
*ENTIRE ROSEN ARTICLE – http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/11/focus-grouping-war-iran
RE: “Americans Open To Force To Rein In Iran On Nukes”
Mr. Silverstein’s link is to an article that is apparently no longer available on Yahoo News. This very intersting article is still available at – http://www.tipponline.com/index.php?view=article&catid=4:news-articles&id=24:americans-open-to-force-to-rein-in-iran-on-nukes&option=com_content&Itemid=5
Richard Silverstein says
Sorry for that error & thanks for updating the link.
Marco Polokoff says
The head of the Israel Prokect is one Jennifer Lazlo Mizrachi, the former wife of Jonathan Kessler who runs AIPAC’s very rightwing college prohrams and has done so for 25 years (including during their marriage when she was very much an AIPAC presence).
It’s all in the family, Archie. AIPAC, Embassy, Harman, the whole gang.
You are so right about Laura Kam, Richard….
She looks like a compulsive liar and manipulator…
This kind of people don’t do any good to Israel and to the world.